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Obituaries

Dolores D. Greene, who helped her son establish Vaughn Greene Funeral Services and served as its first receptionist, dies

Dolores D. Greene worked at Edmondson Hotel Bakery and Read’s Drug Store.

Dolores D. Greene, a former funeral home receptionist who assisted a son in establishing Vaughn Greene Funeral Services and was known for her baking and seamstress skills, died March 17 of complications from dementia at a daughter’s Windsor Mill home. She was 89.

“She was amazing woman who gave us a lot of love as if that was her entire purpose to give love to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and that extended to her neighbors and her children’s friends,” said granddaughter Brittney Greene of Owings Mills. “She was a very humble and generous spirit.”

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The former Dolores Dora Gross, daughter of Dora Gross, a homemaker, and Bernard Duvall, was born in Baltimore and raised in East Baltimore. She was a 1950 graduate of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.

Following her graduation, Mrs. Greene discovered what developed into a lifelong love of baking when she took a job at the Edmondson Hotel Bakery.

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After marrying Mason Alexander Greene, who worked at the U.S. Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, in 1958, the couple settled in Windsor Hills, where they raised their four children and instilled in them a strong sense of family values.

“Dolores was devoted to her family and enjoyed spending time with her children. It wasn’t uncommon to walk by the house and see her in the backyard playing basketball with a makeshift hoop,” Ms. Greene wrote in a biographical profile of her grandmother.

“At night, she would gather the children at the kitchen table with popcorn, Kool-Aid, and board games for family fun which included conversations in which she’d present a life scenario and ask, ‘What would you do?’ The children didn’t know then, but she was preparing them to think independently,” Ms. Greene wrote.

When her youngest child entered high school, she took a part-time job as a cashier in the late 1960s at the Read’s Drug Store at Garrison Boulevard and Liberty Heights Avenue in Northwest Baltimore.She was soon promoted to assistant manager and picked up the moniker of “Mrs. Read’s.”

“Dolores never met a stranger; she was kind to all and willing to help anyone in need,” her granddaughter wrote. “Many have shared how she’d talk to them and give them the facts of life — through love, faith and encouragement. She didn’t care whose child you were; whenever she shared with you, she considered you her own.”

When her first grandchild was born, Mrs. Greene retired from the drugstore in the early 1980s.

Mrs. Greene brought the same youthful exuberance to her grandchildren, who called her “Granny,” as she had raising her own children.

“She’d fly kites with them or have super soaker fights, followed by video game challenges in her game room,” Ms. Greene wrote. “There, she and her grands would sit for hours, and sometimes all night, playing games and watching TV.”

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She attended their athletic events, recitals, birthday parties, prom send-offs, graduations and weddings

When a son, Vaughn Greene, established Vaughn Greene Funeral Services in 1996 on Baltimore National Pike in Northwest Baltimore, she and her husband “took out a second mortgage and leveraged their retirements,” Ms. Greene said in a telephone interview, to help their son with his new business.

In turn, Mrs. Greene became the funeral home’s first receptionist; she assisted in helping grieving families with a sympathetic and understanding kindness while baking goods for them and the funeral home staff.

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An excellent cook and scratch baker, Mrs. Greene was also known for her bread, cakes and pies.

She was also an inveterate gardener and accomplished seamstress, and enjoyed knitting and crocheting.

“She was very creative and even made clothes for her children,” Ms. Greene said in an interview. “She made prom dresses and crocheted babies’ first blankets. She was very meticulous.”

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Mrs. Greene retired in 2000 and “enjoyed retirement and the blessing of advancing years,” her granddaughter wrote. “She could be caught dancing, singing, rapping and laughing just as she pleased. When she was done, she’d ‘drop the mic’ and go about her business. Her determination, wisdom, kindness, humor and, most of all, her spirit of love will be dearly missed.”

Her husband of 48 years died in 2006.

Funeral services for Mrs. Greene were held March 28 at New Shiloh Baptist Church.

In addition to her granddaughter, Mrs. Greene is survived by two sons, Vaughn Collin Greene of Clarksville and Vincent Mason Greene of Windsor Hills; two daughters, Verlea Dolores Briscoe of Windsor Mill and Veronica Dora Greene of Randallstown; a sister, Althea Funn of Windsor Mill; five other grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.


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